January 25, 2010
CALLING IT A CAREER
Wagner, 29, retires from soccer
At the age of 29 U.S. international midfielder Aly Wagner has announced her retirement from pro soccer.
|U.S. international midfielder Aly Wagner has retired from soccer.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Wagner, who played for the Los Angeles Sol in the Women's Professional Soccer inaugural season last year, was a member of two U.S. Womenís World Cup Teams (2003 and 2007) and two Olympic gold medal teams (2004 and 2008)
She made 131 appearances for the United States during a 10-year international career, good for 13th on the all-time list. Wagner scored 21 goals and added 42 assists, good for No. 12 on the all-time American scoring list.
Considered one of the most skillful players and best passers to play for the U.S., Wagner's 42 assists are the second-most in U.S. history for a midfielder, behind Julie Foudy.
However, many soccer observers felt that Wagner never realized her full potential. She was consistently hampered by injuries during the latter part of her career.
Wagner did not score in 15 games for the Sol last season. L.A. reached the WPS championship game, losing to Sky Blue FC, 1-0.
She first trained with the U.S. as an 18-year-old during residency camp for the 1999 Womenís World Cup.
Wagner was a standout player at Santa Clara University, leading the Broncos to their only NCAA Division I title in 2001 and won the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy as college soccerís top player in 2002. She was also the U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year in 2000.
Wagner was the No. 1 pick in the 2003 Women's United Soccer Association draft by the San Diego Spirit, where she played her first professional club season and scored in the teamís semifinal playoff match. She also played professionally in France for Olympique Lyonnaise and then in the inaugural season of WPS for the Los Angeles Sol, helping her team to the championship game.
A San Jose, Calif. native, Wagner was a key member of one of the best youth club teams in history, the Central Valley Mercury, helping lead the side to three consecutive national titles (1996-1998), and was the Gatorade National Player of the Year as a senior at Presentation High School.